Top 10 Literary Quotes On Politics From Books

Feel like throwing the remote at the TV every time you turn on the news? Burnt out from doom-scrolling the latest drama on social media?

Be inspired, consoled and motivated by the words of literary greats with our top 10 quotes on politics and society, chosen from timeless classics and iconic must-read writers.

1. "Politics: The art of appearing candid and completely open while concealing as much as possible".

Written by Frank Herbert in his classic Dune series, we're pretty sure that's one of the best definitions of politics we've come across!

2. "Government! Three fourths parasitic and the other fourth stupid and fumbling."

If you're feeling disillusioned with the whole thing, then this quote from Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger In A Strange Land is sure to resonate.

3. "Dear Government...I'm going to have a serious talk with you if I ever find anyone to talk to." 

Don't you sometimes just wish you could have a word and say what you really think? From Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire comes a sentiment we've all thought at one time or another.

4. "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

Probably applies to a lot of politicians, in our humble opinion.

5. "What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter" - Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

*Taps the sign* 👀

6. "Do you think it's possible for an entire nation to be insane?" Terry Pratchett - Monstrous Regiment

Insert name of country here because we reckon it sometimes feels like the whole world has gone mad! And to be honest, we could have peppered this list entirely with Terry Pratchett quotes; he was an absolute master of sharp political commentary, disguised as fantasy humour.

7. "If all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed - if all records told the same tale - then the lie passed into history and became truth." George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four

A profoundly thought-provoking commentary on totalitarianism, propaganda and mass surveillance, George Orwell's iconic novel has just as much relevance today as it ever did.

8. "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." George Orwell, Animal Farm

Has anyone ever so succinctly captured the nature of inequality in modern society as George Orwell in this classic quote from Animal Farm?

9. "Everyone things of changing the world. No one thinks of changing himself." - Leo Tolstoy

If you think the world would be a better place if people were a little less pass-remarkable and a little more tolerant, you'll love this quote from Tolstoy.

10. "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Yup. We heartily agree with Tolkien on this one. Though we'd add books to the list too - those should definitely be hoarded!

Bonus Extra:

Yeah ok, so I know this is a top 10 list but how can we leave this one out? It's another Terry Pratchett classic and if there's ever a quote which so perfectly sums up the world we live in, it's this one - the Sam Vimes Boots Theory. It's longer than the rest we've picked, but possibly our favourite:

"The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet." Terry Pratchett - Men At Arms

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